Iraqi government approves aid to Fallujah ‘in principle’

Iraq has approved aid to be delivered to people in the ISIS-held city of Fallujah

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Iraq has approved aid to be delivered to people in the ISIS-held city of Fallujah, west of Anbar province after months-long siege from its forces, head of a relief delegation said.

Fallujah, seized by ISIS in early 2014 with an estimated 90,000 population, is the militant group’s stronghold in Anbar. Currently, people of the city are trapped and suffer a serious risk of starvation as they are caught in the crossfire between ISIS militants and Iraqi forces who want to recapture the city after recently liberating Hit, another city in Anbar.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said since government forces recaptured nearby Ramadi city in late 2015 and the Al-Jazira desert area north of Fallujah in March 2016, they have cut off supply routes to the city.

Now with reports of starving civilians surfacing, Kamal Raja al-Issawi, head of the Fallujah relief delegation, said: “the central government agreed in principle to deliver aid to Fallujah but through neutral parties inside the city.”

He added: “These parties will be in charge of receiving the aid and distributing it to people.”

The aid will be funneled to the people “in the upcoming days.”

Issawi’s statement comes after the United Nations demanded establishing a safe passage to deliver aid to the city – 70 kilometers from the capital Baghdad – as they suffer from deteriorating humanitarian conditions due to lack of food and medicine.

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